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Every day we post 10 new Classical CD and DVD reviews. A free weekly summary is available by e-mail. MusicWeb is not a subscription site. To keep it free please purchase discs through our links.

  Classical Editor Rob Barnett    


Johann Sebastian BACH (1685-1750)
Church Cantata BWV 56, for solo bass, chorus and orchestra ‘Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen (I will carry the cross) (1731) [20:40]
Church Cantata BWV 82, for solo bass, chorus and orchestra ‘Ich habe genug’ (I have now enough) (1727) [23:25]
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (bass)
Gachinger Kantorei and the Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling
Recorded July 1983 at the Gedachniskirche, Stuttgart, DDR. DDD
HÄNSSLER CLASSIC CD 94.029 [44:05]
CD available for post-free online mail-order or you may download individual tracks. For some labels you can download the entire CD with a single click and make HUGE savings. The price you see is the price you pay! The full booklet notes are available on-line.

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There is good news and bad news concerning this Hänssler Classic’s ‘Masterpiece Collection’ of two of the church cantatas. These are numbers 56 and 82, both for solo bass, chorus and orchestra. The good news is that the bass soloist Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is in marvellous voice. The bad news is the woefully short duration of the disc at just 44 minutes, which is deeply regrettable in the days of the 80 minutes plus disc. In addition the booklet notes are exceedingly sparse with an absence of English texts and a lack of other relevant information.

The first cantata on the disc No. 56 Ich will den Kreutztab gerne tragen (I will carry the cross) was composed in 1731 to be sung on the nineteenth Sunday after Trinity. The work consists of two recitatives and two bass arias, concluding with a chorale. It is a remarkable composition - emotional and melodious with much rhythmic variety. Fischer-Dieskau is at one with the demands of the work, which I understand he has recorded four times previously. Recorded in 1983, Fischer-Dieskau was past his prime but using his experience and sensitivity to great advantage he still effortlessly manages to deliver a masterly performance. The chorus and orchestra provide a sympathetic accompaniment under the dignified direction of Helmuth Rilling in a performance of the sterling quality that we have come to expect. Another significant feature is the beautiful playing from the solo oboist who is extremely busy with Bach’s extended obbligato writing for the instrument.

First performed in 1731 and composed for the feast day of The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary the second cantata on the disc is No. 82 Ich habe genug (I have now enough). Fischer-Dieskau has recorded the work twice previously and sounds all the better for this experience, giving a most distinguished and memorable performance. Helmuth Rilling shows authoritative direction in the cantata with particularly successful tempi throughout and once again the soloist plays Bach’s heavenly obbligato oboe writing to the manner born.

With the soloist in such expressively fine voice, providing real interpretative insights into these indispensable Bach cantatas, this digital re-release from 1983 is well worth considering. Enhanced by the pleasing sound quality I thoroughly enjoyed these masterworks. Despite my reservation about the presentation of the disc few purchasers will feel disappointed.

Michael Cookson

 

 


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FREE SOUND SAMPLES
(minimum 30 secs)

Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen BWV 56
Ich will den Kreuzstab gerne tragen
Mein Wandel auf der Welt
Endlich, endlich wird mein Joch
Ich stehe fertig und bereit
Komm, o Tod, du Schafles Bruder

Ich habe genug BWV 82
Ich habe genug, ich habe den Heiland
Ich habe genug. Mein Trost ist nur allein
Schlummert ein, ihr matten Augen
Mein Gott! Wenn kommt das schone: Nun!
Ich freue mich auf meinen Tod




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